Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 13, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked OHV and bear- and waterfowl-hunting enforcement. Although a few people would beg to differ, it seems the bear season is off to a slow start in Zone 12. Many hunters reported hits at their baits right up until the day before opener, with little to no activity thereafter. This may have something to do with the oaks dropping a plethora of acorns this year starting right around opening day.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports a successful bear season so far. Prachar worked big-game hunting activity, ATVing activity, and angling activity. He also made an arrest for possession of controlled substances with the assistance of the Blackduck Police Department and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports continuing background investigations and starting Step I of field training with recent CO Academy graduate COC Jordan Anderson. The officers contacted several youth duck hunters during the special youth waterfowl weekend. Anderson inspected birds, shotguns, and licenses.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent time checking big-game and waterfowl hunters. Quite a few groups of youth hunters were checked, with all of them having at least two birds in the bag. Good numbers of blue-winged teal were seen, along with green-winged teal, wood ducks, and mallards. Other time was spent working a turtle-related investigation in which an individual was selling undersized snapping turtles out of his backyard without any licenses. Charges are pending for multiple violations.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time finalizing a background investigation for a potential new employee. She also checked a few youth duck hunters who had some success on opening day. A shoreline complaint and a call about a potentially illegal duck blind were received and investigated.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) received numerous calls about a sick moose wandering along a highway this past week. DNR Wildlife staff later located its carcass and transferred it to the University of Minnesota for testing.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports aquatic plant management cases were followed up on, with more citations issued to lakeshore owners who aren’t operating weed rollers within permitted guidelines.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) spent time in the Pillsbury State Forest. He found evidence of vehicles being operated on closed forest roads and causing damage.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking anglers, ATV riders, goose hunters, and bear-hunting activity. She investigated a headless male deer. If anyone has more information about it, please call. Hughes also responded to assist Cass County officials with a person lost in the woods. A deputy found the lost party and led him out of the woods safely.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) assisted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources with a bear incident. He also received several nuisance-bear complaints in the area.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports numerous outdoor activities are in full swing, including boating, ATV riding, early goose hunting, wild rice harvesting, angling, and bear hunting. Forest roads and public access sites were monitored. Beaver-related complaints have again started because roads are being flooded.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked bear hunting, early goose hunting, angling, and ATV riding. He reports another large bear was dumped, only this time on private land and after being dragged down a road for a long distance. A husband and wife were found angling without licenses and Bozovsky received a new variation of reasons for not having a license: It was the wife’s first time fishing and if she liked fishing, they were going to buy their licenses later. The CO explained that that’s not how it works, and they were cited. Another angler was observed using a downrigger, a planer board, and a conventional rod and was cited for extra lines. A bear hunter chose to hunt over an unregistered bait, had no bait station sign, no identification on his barrel, and bait that was not readily bio-degradable.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports bear-hunting activity remains steady and a father and son were checked hunting together out of the same stand. The son (a juvenile) had not registered the bait they were hunting over. A warning was given, and the bait was registered by the time Frericks got back to his patrol vehicle.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) attended a meeting with commercial property owners regarding trespass complaints. He also attended the Hoyt Lakes and Aurora city deer hunt meeting.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the weekend patrolling areas of the BWCAW by foot and canoe. Violations included baiting bears inside the BWCAW, ricing without a permit in possession, and baiting bears with non-biodegradable materials.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked bear hunters, ATV riders, and anglers. Time was spent on Lake Superior checking anglers, many of whom had salmon and lake trout in the bag.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear-hunting and ATVing activity during the week. Bear hunters are having mixed success, but are reporting bear activity at baits. Murray also received a complaint about ATV riders operating in closed areas and investigated a litter complaint on county lands.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) spent time working on an applicant’s background investigation, checked bear hunters, maintained equipment, and patrolled for AIS violations related to watercraft transportation.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Marc Johnson worked bear-hunting, waterfowl-hunting, small-game hunting, and ATVing activity in their station. They spent time patrolling the state parks and campgrounds. In addition, Hansen and Johnson worked fishing and boating safety enforcement and AIS inspection on area lakes and at public accesses.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) attended the graduation ceremony of the recently completed CO Academy as part of the Colors Detail with the Division Honor Guard. Willis also attended instructor training at Camp Ripley.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working on ongoing wetland issues and responding to bear-related complaints. Schmidt attempted to chase an injured wolf that was in grave condition, but to no avail.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports that COC Hanna Wood graduated from the CO Academy last week and started Phase 1 of field training with him. Duncan and Wood served a restoration order, a restoration order extension, a resource protection notice, and are attempting to serve others. They’ve been working bear bait sites and attempting to find hunters waiting to be picked up by their guides.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked bear- and early goose-hunting activity. Humphrey also attended an Enforcement Division Honor Guard meeting and CO Academy 19 ceremonies held at Camp Ripley during the week.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Duluth-Two Harbors waters during the week. Catches of Chinook and some coho salmon are showing up in the creels.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked enforcement of all-terrain vehicle laws, aquatic plant management laws, and big-game investigations. Guida also worked on an assigned background investigation of a CO PREP applicant from out of state.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATV enforcement activity in the Foothills State Forest area. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV use, ATV registration violations, and illegal equipment.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling ATVing, fishing, boating, and big-game hunting. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV violations, boating registration, bear-hunting violations, failure to obtain a burning permit, and burning prohibited materials.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time checking on bear-hunting activity and patrolling area lakes checking anglers. Some anglers enjoyed decent crappie fishing. One angler checked was using multiple fishing rods at the same time.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports working fishing enforcement. One individual was contacted who was so convinced he only had 10 crappies that he counted them out for Kyllo. Then he counted 11 fish. A highlight of Kyllo’s week was talking to several young waterfowl hunters who bagged their first birds during the youth hunt.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) followed up on TIP reports. He also worked on vehicle maintenance and administrative tasks and handled several phone calls. One caller told of a nerve-racking ring of his doorbell at 2:30 a.m., saying nothing good comes from a doorbell ring at that time of the night. What he found was a deer that had apparently climbed up 10 steps onto his deck and was licking the doorbell.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) responded to calls about trespass, wetland violations, a deer taken out of season, and hunters raining BBs down upon a house.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking area goose hunters and kids who got out for youth waterfowl weekend. Enforcement action was taken for lead shot and unplugged guns.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) assisted in serving a search warrant, patrolled local WMAs, and checked anglers, hunting activity, and ATV riders. Londgren also took several calls about trespassing and how to properly post property in preparation for the upcoming deer seasons.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) assisted the Scott County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a missing boater on the Minnesota River.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked early goose hunters and anglers. Youth waterfowl weekend had great weather and youth hunters had plenty of opportunities. A beaver permit was issued to a local municipality.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers for fishing and boating activities. He also attended PEER training at the St. Paul Police Department and assisted District 14 officers at the 2019 Red Bull event on the Mississippi River.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked early goose and mourning dove hunters in Carver and Scott counties. He also assisted Scott County and local police with the search for a missing boater on the Minnesota River. Lee also worked shore anglers on metro-area lakes and rivers.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) began field training with COC Brett Wiltrout. Arntzen also worked the sturgeon opener on the St. Croix River, checked goose hunters and worked a waterfowl violation TIP.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for youth waterfowl hunting activity. He also assisted with a youth waterfowl-hunting event and assisted with a TIP call regarding the early goose season.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the majority of the week monitoring anglers and dove hunters in the area. He also worked boating details for the Chicago concert in Hastings and the Flugtag event in St. Paul.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATVing, boating, and mourning dove and goose-hunting enforcement. Time also was spent checking and talking to youth hunters who were out for Youth Waterfowl Weekend.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked youth waterfowl hunters. A few youth hunters were happy to show Miska their first ducks.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating, angling, and goose hunting enforcement. He also spent time at a TIP trailer during Prairie Pothole Days in Kandiyohi.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time getting equipment ready for the fall hunting seasons, which now are upon us. He also checked on complaints of aquatic plant removal and people keeping and trying to raise wildlife.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) presented a 40-year volunteer firearms safety instructor award to Gary Kruggel.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked goose and dove hunters in fields. Anglers and boaters were checked, too. ATVing activity was monitored and public accesses were patrolled. Lake water temperatures are becoming lower, but many are still green with algae, prompting many people to avoid recreating and angling on them.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. He also checked waterfowl hunters and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working anglers and migratory waterfowl hunters. He checked early goose hunters on the opener.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) attended the DNR CO Academy graduation at Camp Ripley. He also checked anglers on lakes around Waterville. Flerlage also spent time working goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters during the weekend. He talked with ATV users operating on roads.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent most of the week checking anglers on Olmsted County reservoirs. Additional time was spent monitoring ATVing activity and following up on deer-feeding complaints.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked early goose hunters. A hunter was contacted who had an unplugged shotgun, and enforcement action was taken. A complaint about ATVers unlawfully driving on state land was investigated.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking dove hunters, goose hunters, and a few youth duck hunters. One group of three youth hunters all shot their first wood ducks. They also fell waist-deep into the muck and mud but came out smiling.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports checking anglers throughout the week on various lakes in Goodhue and Wabasha counties. Hill also contacted a goose hunter who reported difficulties finding birds. An ongoing trespass issue dating back multiple years was worked, and charges were filed.